Last Thursday night was silly. I was feeling rather uninspired about making something and was just hanging around keeping Jim company while he unpacked boxes. At some point, he finished unpacking this giant box so I put it on over my head and was walking around with it on (yes, I’m kind of weird). So Jim said, “why don’t you make that box into something.”
After a little deliberation, I decided to turn it into a giant vampire. Afterwards, of course, we were all putting it on and wearing it around the house. Surprisingly, it was a bit creepy to have someone walk around after you wearing even this silly vampire box. It really felt uncomfortable. Crazy!
On Sunday, you could either say I made very little or a whole lot.
I took three pictures of our motel in Wisconsin (two of them are above), which isn’t much since usually when I do a series of photos I take between 20 and 100 photos. This would count as the “very little.”
On the other hand, I also took a 12.5 mile hike along the Ice Trail in Kettle Moraine South in scalding 95 degree heat. I’d like to call this the “a lot.” In a way, you could say I “made a hike” or “made progress toward becoming more fit” or even “made strides in finishing my 32 before 33 list, since hiking the entire length of the Ice Age Trail through Kettle Moraine South in Wisconsin is on my list. Sure, it’s kind of a stretch, but I feel like it’s a stretch worth taking since the hike almost killed me.
We got a late start for lots of reasons–we ate a slow breakfast, had trouble finding the trailhead, and are generally slow movers in the morning . We got on the trail at 11:15 a.m. and started with a leisurely pace. It was really nice. The scenery was beautiful with big pine trees and oaks on a deeply forested trail. There were also lots of hills to climb up, a welcome change for an Illinois girl.
Around 2:15 we got to a break in the trail with a parking lot and a trail map. That’s when we found out we still had 7.5 miles to go (and we had already gone 5 miles). See, we knew the trail was long, but because the state park website is pretty bad, we were having trouble figuring out just how long the trail was. We thought it would be somewhere between 8 and 12 miles, but we didn’t figure out it was 12.5 miles until we got to that parking lot and were already feeling kind of tired.
In any case, we filled up our 32 ounce water bottles and got back on the trail, which started through a patch of forest with tons of raspberry bushes (if only they were ripe!). Unfortunately, the forest quickly faded away and we were suddenly hiking through a giant open savannah. In intense heat. With only 32 ounces of water.
We hiked that way for three more hours. By the end, my heart was pounding so hard, not because I was physically exhausted, but because I was getting dehydrated. But I pushed on. I dragged myself up over hills and through deceiving patches of trees that opened up back onto the vast prairie.
Until we finally reached our final destination…and a water spigot. I must say the water was amazing and my aching feet felt amazing when I ripped my shoes off. After almost five and half hours of hiking my dogs were tired, and I was even more tired.
It was worth it though. That 12.5 mile hike was my longest ever, and I am really proud. I’ve had problems with my knees over that past few years, and I feel like being able to walk that much shows that I am finally recovering and have been building strength in my knees again.
I also feel like I proved something to myself that goes beyond my knee problems–I’m still fit, strong, and up for a challenge!
On Saturday, we drove up to Wisconsin for the first day of our mini-break (we stayed until Monday) and had another glorious day up north. We went to Stellar Vineyard and Northleaf Winery for wine tastings, played in a lovely public park that hadn’t been renovated since probably the 1980’s (it had excellent hand-over-hand bars), and then went for dinner at a supper club on the beautiful Lake Koshkonong.
Actually, the story with the lake is kind of sad. Apparently, back in the 1800’s the surface of this giant lake was entirely covered in wild rice, which was an important food source for the native Americans in the area. Then a dam was built, causing the lake to rise by about six feet and subsequently causing all of the rice to die. This also meant that the thousands and thousands of ducks that used to live on the lake also disappeared. Depressing!
Anyways, despite learning about this tragedy (on the first page of the supper club menu, which was kind of funny/weird) I still had an amazing day. Yay for Wisconsin!
On Friday, it was the last day of work with my co-worker of six years and my good friend’s brothers were in town. That meant happy hour after work, tacos at my beloved Taqueria Moran, and then a bit of a party back at my place. While everyone was over, I drew this simple doodle of overlapping circles. Kinda looks like bubbles.
Thursday night was laundromat night so I brought my sketchbook and markers with while my laundry spun around in the dryer. It reminds me a bit of the black and white pieces by Piet Mondrian, although less symmetric or parallel.
Last night I made a little drawing of a leaf. Specifically, it’s a drawing of a leaf from a big ‘ol plant with lovely purple flowers that we have growing in our backyard. The plant is on my upstairs neighbors side of the yard (we have two plots for my two flat, one for each apartment), but since he just moved in and the plant was put in by my former neighbor, we had no idea what the plant was. This was problematic since my new neighbor wants to start a garden of his own. Is it squash? Watermelon? No clue!
Since I love a bit of detective work, I spent some time googling around last night for vegetable plants with purple flowers, and discovered that the plant is a common mallow. Apparently, the young common mallow plant is quite delicious and kind of like spinach, but as it gets older it gets tough and sort of gross.
After I discovered this, I left a note for my upstairs neighbor all about the plant. I even went as far as explaining that if he digs it up, he’s going to need a big shovel because common mallow plants set down huge tap roots. I’m such a dork!
Last night, I made a watercolor sketch of bottles as a way to practice overlapping paints. Actually, it’s the perfect thing to be posting tonight because, after our swing dance lesson this evening, Jim and I went to Webster’s Wine Bar and tried three of their wine flights. It was really great because we got to taste 9 different wines, including some really wonderful reds that tasted of things like brie, roses, barnyard, and lilacs. Cheers to a great experience at the wine bar!